Jump to content


Photo

N.Z. Jaguar D-Type history


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Bill Harding

Bill Harding
  • Member

  • 85 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 09 December 2006 - 23:56

Am trying to research early race history of XKD 534 that was supplied new to N.Z.
Was originally bought by Jack Shelley and driven for him by Robert Gibbons then sold to Angus Hyslop. Have a record of it winning Sports Car Race + 5th in NZ GP in Jan 1957. Also a record of it running at the GP meeting in 1958 where it won the Ken Wharton Memorial Trophy...
Any more history or photos from our keen S.Hemisphere members much appreciated!!

Advertisement

#2 mctshirt

mctshirt
  • Member

  • 183 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 10 December 2006 - 01:43

There is some info here: http://forums.autosp...y=&pagenumber=3

#3 Bill Harding

Bill Harding
  • Member

  • 85 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 10 December 2006 - 10:18

Thanks, that is a great help....
Can anyone help me with a copy of the Eoin Young article in NZ Classic Cars, which had the article about the car.
Would also like to know more about Shelley and race results for XKD534, perhaps these are in the Classic Cars article???

#4 Patrick Fletcher

Patrick Fletcher
  • Member

  • 677 posts
  • Joined: February 04

Posted 10 December 2006 - 11:38

An amazing car that was a huge part of NZ racing history.
It was a production car that was delivered to NZ with carpets [was it new or did it have a race or two in the UK]
I remember it as blue until Angus Hyslop had it in white - I think he passed it on to Simon Taylor who managed to roll it into a farmers paddock between Dunedin and Invercargill while driving down to the 1962 Teretonga meeting, where he rolled it again when entering the loop at the end of the main straight.
I was at the corner and he sort of popped out when the car went over and when I got there I went into the lupins looking for him but then heard him shouting out from underneath the car. He some how had been pushed back into the car with one leg going back in between the spokes of the steering wheel.
The fuel pumps was ticking like mad and when I got down to talk to him he and I agreed it would be a good idea to turn the ignition off.
We had a bit of a chat about his future as a race driver and he seemed to think that saloon cars may be the way to go.
It seemed an age before the crash crew arrived and cut one of the spokes on the wheel to free the drivers very broken leg.

#5 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 10 December 2006 - 12:35

Don't think I'd ever heard the road accident story, Patrick
And certainly not your personal involvement with the Teretonga roll :up:
To finish that off, Taylor did race the D again that season after his leg was attended to, but the next season confined his sport to racing a Mini-Cooper

Bill
I can probably send you a copy of the NZCC article - PM me

#6 Huw Jadvantich

Huw Jadvantich
  • Member

  • 602 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 10 December 2006 - 13:45

That car was also owned by John Riley wasn't it? and then went to live in Pukekohe area without being shown for some time. If you can remember which NZCC copy the article was in I can find it for you.

#7 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 10 December 2006 - 16:10

Riley owned it only briefly, and never raced it
The long-term owners were the Foster family of Peach Hill, Ramarama (near Drury)

Huw
I can't easily lay my hands on my NZCC copies at the moment, but if you have yours filed in logical order, the ESY feature was pretty soon after the car's sale at Bonhams Goodwood auction in September 2002

#8 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,307 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 10 December 2006 - 16:14

Bill - you'll have seen this?

“At four hundred and forty thousand pounds then?

“For the last time? Four hundred and forty thousand pounds…?” – pause – auctioneer Robert Brooks intently scanned the audience, jam-packed into the Bonhams Sale marquee – then ‘clack!’; he smacked down his much-treasured, much battered gavel on Lot XXX in the Goodwood Revival Meeting Sale.

For the first time since 1964, Jaguar D-Type ‘XKD 534’ had just passed to a new owner…

Such ‘barn find’ or ‘time machine’ cars of true quality and pedigree are an abiding delight to any enthusiast with the imagination to appreciate them. Every ding, dent, paintwork crack, colour fade and change, speaks volumes of the car’s long history. When I first saw ‘534’ - fresh from HM Customs clearance, in a dark store beside Southampton Water - my reaction was somewhat similar to that when I first came upon a Focke-Wulf 190, just recovered from a Russian birch forest after some 50 years unsuspected in virtual tundra. That’s right, the short hairs on the back of my neck absolutely bristled…for here was the entrance to a time tunnel, the past still living, accessible to us all.

As far as Luftwaffe fighters go, that ‘Butcher Bird’ was nothing particularly extraordinary; it was its survival in such original condition which was so evocative. Likewise, amongst the classical production run of ‘Shortnose’ D-Type ‘customer cars’ produced by Jaguar in 1955-56, old ‘534’ was nothing particularly outstanding. What makes it special today has been its survival in such long-term family ownership, and how little it has been messed-about – other than by the ravages of time in less than ideal storage – over its 38 years with the Foster family as New Zealand’s only D-Type….

Old ‘534’, in fact, is one of the most delightful ‘customer’ Jaguar D-Type sports-racing cars that the experienced Bonhams & Brooks staff have ever had the pleasure to handle. Here was a car which totally exemplified Sir Williams Lyons’s ideal for his legendary D-Type model, a car which provided that multiple Le Mans-winning level of competition performance, stamina, style and efficiency for the everyday paying customer…

What we found ourselves examining is one of the least used and lowest-ownership examples of Jaguar’s supreme semi-monocoque, sports-racing classic. As new, this now grizzled old warrior – at that time fitted, of course, with the customer-spec D’s standard 3.4-litre dry-sump engine – was displayed at Attwood’s of Wolverhampton, before being consigned to Jack Shelly’s International Motor Sales, of Wellington, New Zealand.

The car was shipped on September 9, 1956. Jack Shelly’s son Tony would subsequently become a prominent Formula 1 racing private owner/driver in 1962 – running an all-black (now there’s a surprise) Lotus 18/21. But at that time he was nobbut a lad, and by general consent the D-Type was considered too much for him. Instead it was race-prepared for local enthusiast Sam Gibbons to enter, for his son Bob.

Their first outing was the Saddle Road Hillclimb, on loose gravel. Bob Gibbons naturally drove the sparkling new ‘534’ to the event – acclimatising himself on the public road. He would also drive it back home afterwards, once he had been narrowly beaten by ‘Fordy’ Farland’s Singer-Buick through the loose and bouncing gravel…

Still Bob Gibbons had acquitted himself well, and ‘534’ was then prepared for him to race it in the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting of January, 1957.

That international event – and its sports car supporting race - was held upon what was by that time its traditional venue; Ardmore Aerodrome, just south of Auckland. Twenty-two cars and drivers lined up for the Le Mans-type start. Prominent British driver Ken Wharton led away in his Ferrari 750 Monza, hotly pursued by future triple World-Champion Jack Brabham’s Cooper ‘Bobtail’ with Gibbons right behind, third in ‘534’. The duelling trio maintained this order for 17 laps, but on the 18th – in his efforts to break away from the persistent ‘Black Jack’ - poor Wharton drifted just too far in the fast corner near the control tower, tripped on the straw bale barrier there and was thrown out as the Monza flipped crazily. Ken was killed.

Jack Brabham had an unfortunately close-quarters ringside view of this tragedy, and he fell back as his Cooper “went off song”, enabling Bob Gibbons to go by and win in ‘534’– with the Australian finishing second.

From Ardmore the circus shipped across the Cook Straight to the South Island, and the international Lady Wigram Trophy race at Christchurch, two weeks later. This time Brabham was quite uncatchable, turning the tables on Gibbons who finished 2nd in ‘534’. Overall through that New Zealand season of 1956-57, Bob Gibbons finished fifth in the national NZ Gold Star Championship. During the 1957-58 Kiwi season, he then won the Ken Wharton Memorial Trophy and placed third overall in the Ardmore ‘50’. At Dunedin he was less fortunate, hitting a trackside lamp-post.

Damage was minor and was speedily repaired, the blue-liveried D-Type then being sold to Hastings sheep farmer Angus Hyslop who then raced it over the following three years. The car was co-prepared and run with the help of Bruce Webster and Bill Hannah, and Hyslop twice finished second in the national Sports Car Gold Star competition. In 1960 he won the Motor Racing Drivers’ Championship at Wigram, placed second in the sports car international at Ardmore and third in the Ultimate-Ecko event – beating future McLaren, BRM, Matra and Mirage driver Howden Ganley.

However, Hyslop’s best performance with the always well-prepared ‘534’ was probably at Ohakea in 1961, when he won the sports car event and finished 3rd overall in the Trophy race, against purebred single-seater ‘Tasman’ cars. He again placed 2nd overall that year in the sports car international at Ardmore, before making the long pilgrimage to race Formula Junior and closed-wheel cars in Europe.

Fellow New Zealander Simon Taylor had bought the ageing D-Type from Hyslop for 1962. He won the Ken Wharton Memorial Trophy race at the last Ardmore NZ Grand Prix meeting early that year. In 1963 he won again in the Raglan Beach event, and also sprinted ‘534’ enthusiastically, regularly clocking 140mph - 225km/h – through the flying quarter-mile.

For 1963 the car was sold via fellow racer John Riley of Riley Car Sales, to Gary Bremer, who campaigned it at such important New Zealand venues as Renwick, Mt Maunganui, Levin and at Auckland’s newly-completed NZ GP circuit of Pukekohe. On March 12, 1964, Bremer sold ‘534’ to Noel Foster. The price paid was NZ £1,425, and at that time just 21,737 miles were recorded on the car’s odometer.

Noel Foster was a great enthusiast. He had served as a Leading Aircraftsman with the RNZAF during World War 2, then farmed at Ramarama south of Auckland before eventually becoming a paint company foreman, although retaining the farm. It was there that ‘534’ would spend most of its long life. During the 1950s and ’60s, Noel Foster accumulated a number of interesting cars, including a Brooklands Riley, a Riley Special, a Lagonda, and ultimately both this Jaguar D-Type, and an E-Type. In fact the Foster family were confirmed Jaguar enthusiasts, Noel’s brother owning a fine Mark 2 saloon and his son an XK140.

Other than the most minor club-level events – such as sprints at Pukekohe - Noel Foster did not use ‘534’ for any further serious competition, preserving it instead for fun motoring on high days and holidays around the North Island’s wonderful – near deserted - rural roads. His son – also Noel – today recalls how “Dad used to commute in the Brooklands Riley, but said it took him thirty minutes each way. One day he tried the D-Type, and it cut ten minutes off his time…so he took to using it regularly”.

Noel Jr is today a serving police officer. He recalls not only that “Dad used to get pulled over occasionally by the police, but that was mainly because they wanted to take a closer look round the car…” but also how “He used to cram both myself and my sister Michele into the D-Type’s passenger seat, and take us out to a local dead-flat straight which was about a quarter-mile long, where he’d go from 0-100mph, then get it all braked down in time to negotiate a 90-degree turn off the tarmac onto loose gravel. We just loved it – but if I saw somebody doing that now with two young kids in the other seat…they’d end up inside so quick their feet wouldn’t touch the ground!

“But for us as small kids at that time, going out and ‘doing the hundred’ with Dad was a fantastic buzz. I guess none of us – and least of all him –thought for one moment of the dangers involved…”

In Angus Hyslop’s hands ‘534’ was off-white, and in Bremer’s tenure it had been resprayed maroon – apart from the cockpit interior, which remained part-brush painted Hyslop white. Noel Foster entrusted it to a local paint shop for a coat of ‘British Racing Green’. They applied their own interpretation of BRG, preserved upon the car today. The original pop-on seat-back upholstery and seat coverings have survived, and when we remove them there’s the Hyslop white, brush-painted over Jaguar’s interior grey on the seatback bulkhead. Flip open the filler shroud in the headrest, and there’s the Bremer maroon…in all its used-car glory.

Thereafter, Noel Sr toyed with anti-roll bars and fitted Koni dampers. A wrap-round windscreen was added to the passenger-side cockpit opening, then removed. But time passes, and Noel Jr and Michele grew up. Old ‘534’ was last used on the New Zealand roads in the early 1990s. Even then it had completed barely 20,000 miles in Noel Sr’s hands, and thereafter it survived garaged on the farm at Ramarama where it was started-up and run occasionally but little more. After Noel Sr’s recent death his family decided that old ‘534’ should find a new owner, better placed than they to restore and ensure its future. Robert Brooks had maintained friendly touch for years…and so it came to market at the Goodwood Revival.

Kiwi racing historian Dave McKinney – whose Maserati 250F book is to be published shortly – recalls ‘534’ well: “Last time I saw it was around 1965, still in Bremer’s rather fetching maroon, burbling through the lunchtime traffic in Papatoetoe or one of those other South Auckland towns.
A few years earlier, when at school in Masterton, I was chuffed to see it driving through town with Hyslop at the wheel, Bill Hanna (his ‘engineer’) in the passenger seat, and a suitcase strapped on the back - on their way home from some South Island race meeting or other.

“When Hyslop bought his first single-seater – a 2-litre Cooper-Climax T45 - he painted it the same colour as the D-type (white) and the Jag then served as the Cooper’s tow-car!

“But my favourite story about ‘534’ was told me in 1961 by a family friend, our local bank manager, who had stayed in the same hotel as Hyslop on the weekend of that year's famously wet Wigram meeting, when Hyslop in his 2-litre Cooper finished third, behind Brabham and Moss but ahead of the 2½-litre cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme. After the race the bank manager complimented him on his brilliant wet-weather driving – and Hyslop's response was that he thought the skill had probably been learned by using the D-type to round up the sheep on his farm!”.

Jaguar produced its supreme C-Type and D-Type cars very much on the basis that they must pay for themselves through promotion of company success, and most crucially through global sales to enthusiastic customers. Here this wonderfully evocative ‘time machine’ D-Type beautifully demonstrates that image-building philosophy; a wonderfully charismatic classic Jaguar of unbeatable charm…


DCN

#9 Bill Harding

Bill Harding
  • Member

  • 85 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 10 December 2006 - 18:02

Thanks for that Doug, no I had not seen it before.
Have just bought the car and am thinking about putting it back to blue from the present white...but having read your piece there are plenty of colour options! Andrew Whyte had it down as Dove Grey originally but I have not checked the Factory Records yet.
Would really like to discover some good period photos of it, if anyone can help

#10 Huw Jadvantich

Huw Jadvantich
  • Member

  • 602 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 10 December 2006 - 23:19

I have one somewhere in Hyslop's tenure -I'll search

#11 Milan Fistonic

Milan Fistonic
  • Member

  • 1,762 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 11 December 2006 - 02:11

Some minor Hyslop D-type results gleaned from the excellent book Off The Record published by the Hawkes Bay Car Club.

October 4, 1958 – Bridge Pa Sprint

FTD and first in Sports Cars over 1500cc class
15.2 seconds for the standing quarter mile and 139.534 mph for the flying tenth of a mile.

December 13,1958 – Te Onepu Hillclimb

FTD and new record – 1m 03.1s

March 14, 1959 – Bridge Pa Centennial Sprint

FTD and first in Sports Cars over 1500cc class
15.0 seconds and 148.76 mph

April 18, 1959 – Te Onepu Gold Star Hillclimb

Second FTD and first in Sports Cars over 1500cc class – 59.88s

FTD went to Bob Gibbons driving the Lycoming Special – 56.25s

December 5, 1959 – Bridge Pa Sprint

Car driven by Bill Hanna.

Equal FTD in sprint – 15.0s (with Bruce Webster’s Cooper-Porsche)
Fastest speed - 139.53 mph

March 12, 1960 – Bridge Pa Sprint

FTD and first in Sports Cars over 1500cc class
14.9 seconds and 145.16 mph

April 23, 1960 – Te Onepu Gold Star Hillclimb

Second FTD and first 3001-5000cc class – 1m 01.15s

FTD by Bruce Webster (Cooper-Porsche) – 59.21s

#12 skypilot

skypilot
  • New Member

  • 3 posts
  • Joined: August 10

Posted 09 August 2010 - 00:13

Bill - you'll have seen this?

“At four hundred and forty thousand pounds then?

“For the last time? Four hundred and forty thousand pounds…?” – pause – auctioneer Robert Brooks intently scanned the audience, jam-packed into the Bonhams Sale marquee – then ‘clack!’; he smacked down his much-treasured, much battered gavel on Lot XXX in the Goodwood Revival Meeting Sale.

For the first time since 1964, Jaguar D-Type ‘XKD 534’ had just passed to a new owner…

Such ‘barn find’ or ‘time machine’ cars of true quality and pedigree are an abiding delight to any enthusiast with the imagination to appreciate them. Every ding, dent, paintwork crack, colour fade and change, speaks volumes of the car’s long history. When I first saw ‘534’ - fresh from HM Customs clearance, in a dark store beside Southampton Water - my reaction was somewhat similar to that when I first came upon a Focke-Wulf 190, just recovered from a Russian birch forest after some 50 years unsuspected in virtual tundra. That’s right, the short hairs on the back of my neck absolutely bristled…for here was the entrance to a time tunnel, the past still living, accessible to us all.

As far as Luftwaffe fighters go, that ‘Butcher Bird’ was nothing particularly extraordinary; it was its survival in such original condition which was so evocative. Likewise, amongst the classical production run of ‘Shortnose’ D-Type ‘customer cars’ produced by Jaguar in 1955-56, old ‘534’ was nothing particularly outstanding. What makes it special today has been its survival in such long-term family ownership, and how little it has been messed-about – other than by the ravages of time in less than ideal storage – over its 38 years with the Foster family as New Zealand’s only D-Type….

Old ‘534’, in fact, is one of the most delightful ‘customer’ Jaguar D-Type sports-racing cars that the experienced Bonhams & Brooks staff have ever had the pleasure to handle. Here was a car which totally exemplified Sir Williams Lyons’s ideal for his legendary D-Type model, a car which provided that multiple Le Mans-winning level of competition performance, stamina, style and efficiency for the everyday paying customer…

What we found ourselves examining is one of the least used and lowest-ownership examples of Jaguar’s supreme semi-monocoque, sports-racing classic. As new, this now grizzled old warrior – at that time fitted, of course, with the customer-spec D’s standard 3.4-litre dry-sump engine – was displayed at Attwood’s of Wolverhampton, before being consigned to Jack Shelly’s International Motor Sales, of Wellington, New Zealand.

The car was shipped on September 9, 1956. Jack Shelly’s son Tony would subsequently become a prominent Formula 1 racing private owner/driver in 1962 – running an all-black (now there’s a surprise) Lotus 18/21. But at that time he was nobbut a lad, and by general consent the D-Type was considered too much for him. Instead it was race-prepared for local enthusiast Sam Gibbons to enter, for his son Bob.

Their first outing was the Saddle Road Hillclimb, on loose gravel. Bob Gibbons naturally drove the sparkling new ‘534’ to the event – acclimatising himself on the public road. He would also drive it back home afterwards, once he had been narrowly beaten by ‘Fordy’ Farland’s Singer-Buick through the loose and bouncing gravel…

Still Bob Gibbons had acquitted himself well, and ‘534’ was then prepared for him to race it in the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting of January, 1957.

That international event – and its sports car supporting race - was held upon what was by that time its traditional venue; Ardmore Aerodrome, just south of Auckland. Twenty-two cars and drivers lined up for the Le Mans-type start. Prominent British driver Ken Wharton led away in his Ferrari 750 Monza, hotly pursued by future triple World-Champion Jack Brabham’s Cooper ‘Bobtail’ with Gibbons right behind, third in ‘534’. The duelling trio maintained this order for 17 laps, but on the 18th – in his efforts to break away from the persistent ‘Black Jack’ - poor Wharton drifted just too far in the fast corner near the control tower, tripped on the straw bale barrier there and was thrown out as the Monza flipped crazily. Ken was killed.

Jack Brabham had an unfortunately close-quarters ringside view of this tragedy, and he fell back as his Cooper “went off song”, enabling Bob Gibbons to go by and win in ‘534’– with the Australian finishing second.

From Ardmore the circus shipped across the Cook Straight to the South Island, and the international Lady Wigram Trophy race at Christchurch, two weeks later. This time Brabham was quite uncatchable, turning the tables on Gibbons who finished 2nd in ‘534’. Overall through that New Zealand season of 1956-57, Bob Gibbons finished fifth in the national NZ Gold Star Championship. During the 1957-58 Kiwi season, he then won the Ken Wharton Memorial Trophy and placed third overall in the Ardmore ‘50’. At Dunedin he was less fortunate, hitting a trackside lamp-post.

Damage was minor and was speedily repaired, the blue-liveried D-Type then being sold to Hastings sheep farmer Angus Hyslop who then raced it over the following three years. The car was co-prepared and run with the help of Bruce Webster and Bill Hannah, and Hyslop twice finished second in the national Sports Car Gold Star competition. In 1960 he won the Motor Racing Drivers’ Championship at Wigram, placed second in the sports car international at Ardmore and third in the Ultimate-Ecko event – beating future McLaren, BRM, Matra and Mirage driver Howden Ganley.

However, Hyslop’s best performance with the always well-prepared ‘534’ was probably at Ohakea in 1961, when he won the sports car event and finished 3rd overall in the Trophy race, against purebred single-seater ‘Tasman’ cars. He again placed 2nd overall that year in the sports car international at Ardmore, before making the long pilgrimage to race Formula Junior and closed-wheel cars in Europe.

Fellow New Zealander Simon Taylor had bought the ageing D-Type from Hyslop for 1962. He won the Ken Wharton Memorial Trophy race at the last Ardmore NZ Grand Prix meeting early that year. In 1963 he won again in the Raglan Beach event, and also sprinted ‘534’ enthusiastically, regularly clocking 140mph - 225km/h – through the flying quarter-mile.

For 1963 the car was sold via fellow racer John Riley of Riley Car Sales, to Gary Bremer, who campaigned it at such important New Zealand venues as Renwick, Mt Maunganui, Levin and at Auckland’s newly-completed NZ GP circuit of Pukekohe. On March 12, 1964, Bremer sold ‘534’ to Noel Foster. The price paid was NZ £1,425, and at that time just 21,737 miles were recorded on the car’s odometer.

Noel Foster was a great enthusiast. He had served as a Leading Aircraftsman with the RNZAF during World War 2, then farmed at Ramarama south of Auckland before eventually becoming a paint company foreman, although retaining the farm. It was there that ‘534’ would spend most of its long life. During the 1950s and ’60s, Noel Foster accumulated a number of interesting cars, including a Brooklands Riley, a Riley Special, a Lagonda, and ultimately both this Jaguar D-Type, and an E-Type. In fact the Foster family were confirmed Jaguar enthusiasts, Noel’s brother owning a fine Mark 2 saloon and his son an XK140.

Other than the most minor club-level events – such as sprints at Pukekohe - Noel Foster did not use ‘534’ for any further serious competition, preserving it instead for fun motoring on high days and holidays around the North Island’s wonderful – near deserted - rural roads. His son – also Noel – today recalls how “Dad used to commute in the Brooklands Riley, but said it took him thirty minutes each way. One day he tried the D-Type, and it cut ten minutes off his time…so he took to using it regularly”.

Noel Jr is today a serving police officer. He recalls not only that “Dad used to get pulled over occasionally by the police, but that was mainly because they wanted to take a closer look round the car…” but also how “He used to cram both myself and my sister Michele into the D-Type’s passenger seat, and take us out to a local dead-flat straight which was about a quarter-mile long, where he’d go from 0-100mph, then get it all braked down in time to negotiate a 90-degree turn off the tarmac onto loose gravel. We just loved it – but if I saw somebody doing that now with two young kids in the other seat…they’d end up inside so quick their feet wouldn’t touch the ground!

“But for us as small kids at that time, going out and ‘doing the hundred’ with Dad was a fantastic buzz. I guess none of us – and least of all him –thought for one moment of the dangers involved…”

In Angus Hyslop’s hands ‘534’ was off-white, and in Bremer’s tenure it had been resprayed maroon – apart from the cockpit interior, which remained part-brush painted Hyslop white. Noel Foster entrusted it to a local paint shop for a coat of ‘British Racing Green’. They applied their own interpretation of BRG, preserved upon the car today. The original pop-on seat-back upholstery and seat coverings have survived, and when we remove them there’s the Hyslop white, brush-painted over Jaguar’s interior grey on the seatback bulkhead. Flip open the filler shroud in the headrest, and there’s the Bremer maroon…in all its used-car glory.

Thereafter, Noel Sr toyed with anti-roll bars and fitted Koni dampers. A wrap-round windscreen was added to the passenger-side cockpit opening, then removed. But time passes, and Noel Jr and Michele grew up. Old ‘534’ was last used on the New Zealand roads in the early 1990s. Even then it had completed barely 20,000 miles in Noel Sr’s hands, and thereafter it survived garaged on the farm at Ramarama where it was started-up and run occasionally but little more. After Noel Sr’s recent death his family decided that old ‘534’ should find a new owner, better placed than they to restore and ensure its future. Robert Brooks had maintained friendly touch for years…and so it came to market at the Goodwood Revival.

Kiwi racing historian Dave McKinney – whose Maserati 250F book is to be published shortly – recalls ‘534’ well: “Last time I saw it was around 1965, still in Bremer’s rather fetching maroon, burbling through the lunchtime traffic in Papatoetoe or one of those other South Auckland towns.
A few years earlier, when at school in Masterton, I was chuffed to see it driving through town with Hyslop at the wheel, Bill Hanna (his ‘engineer’) in the passenger seat, and a suitcase strapped on the back - on their way home from some South Island race meeting or other.

“When Hyslop bought his first single-seater – a 2-litre Cooper-Climax T45 - he painted it the same colour as the D-type (white) and the Jag then served as the Cooper’s tow-car!

“But my favourite story about ‘534’ was told me in 1961 by a family friend, our local bank manager, who had stayed in the same hotel as Hyslop on the weekend of that year's famously wet Wigram meeting, when Hyslop in his 2-litre Cooper finished third, behind Brabham and Moss but ahead of the 2½-litre cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme. After the race the bank manager complimented him on his brilliant wet-weather driving – and Hyslop's response was that he thought the skill had probably been learned by using the D-type to round up the sheep on his farm!”.

Jaguar produced its supreme C-Type and D-Type cars very much on the basis that they must pay for themselves through promotion of company success, and most crucially through global sales to enthusiastic customers. Here this wonderfully evocative ‘time machine’ D-Type beautifully demonstrates that image-building philosophy; a wonderfully charismatic classic Jaguar of unbeatable charm…


DCN



I was invited to come on board with Simon Taylor when he purchased the "D" from Angus Hyslop. I heard later that the aircraft they were flying in to collect the car nearly crashed into the hills on the way owing to a severe downdraft and the plan's inability to outclimb it. The car's history would be somewhat different now had that happened.

There were stories that the car had never been bent, but as has been recorded above, the prang at Palmerston, in the South Island, was the first of 2 rollovers. It occured because of a sudden left turn over a bridge just north of the town. An illusion of the road going straight ahead fooled Simon into believing he was heading in the right direction untiol suddenly the car was hurtling off the road into an area where only a tractor should have been moving.

The car was taken to Dunedin where the bonnet was separated from the rest and for some reason was sent to Invercargill for repair whilst I stayed with the rest of the vehicle in Dunedin where the repairs were carried out.
On completion I drove the car to Invercargill early in the morning and encounter thick fog. Suddenly the windscreen, or what was left of it at the time, completely disintergrated and I became blinded in my left eye and went deaf in my left ear. After a brief panic I realised that I had hit a bird which had splattered itself against the left side of my face which caused the aforementioned effects.
A quick wipe and all was well again for the remainder of the trip.
On arrival, the bonnet which is almost half of the car, was fitted back to the car and she was ready for circuit testing just in time for scrutineering.

On race day it was extremely hot and the newly laid track surface was made up with very round stones. The tar was soft and track adhesion was minimal and as the first corner was approached the car decided not to turn but went sideways off the track into the lupins as mentioned in an earlier diatribe.

I was in the pits when this occurred and ran along to the tow truck which was starting to move on its way to the crash site. I grabbed the towhook and grimly hung on as it swung madly about until we reached the inverted car where people were vainly attempting to lift it up. Each time they lifted he would scream with pain. Using my hands I dug through the sand until I could get beside him to see what the problem was. Simon was trapped it with his legs caught under the steering wheel. I yelled out for a hacksaw so I could cut him free.
Knowing that the steering wheel would be needed once the car was on its wheels again, I cut through one spoke and forcibly bent the wheel clear, then called for the car to be lifted from him.
Owing to the hot day everyone's hands were sweaty and the car surface was rounded which resulted in the car slipping from their grasp just as Simon had been extricated. Unfortunately I was still underneath and my head was pushed into the sand resulting in a small stick piercing my eardrum, a most painful experience that was put aside until Simon was sent off in the ambulance.

I cannot remember how I got the car to Dunedin again (I think I drove it) but the repairs were carried out there and after a couple of weeks she was all ready to go again. I took the repairer for a brief road test to show him my appreciation for his work. In the city street I accelerated up to 100mph and back to a stop within a block to show him the car's performance. Unfortunately the local traffic cop saw us and recognised the car from seeing it at the panel beaters where his own car was being worked on.
I left town immeditaely before he could do anything about it but I can admit to setting a new record at the time from Dunedin To Christchurch, a distance of 225 miles in 2 hours 15 minutes.

Now for some bad news. At Ohakea the throttle jammed wide open and eventually a valve head dropped off and went through a piston, ending up in the sump where it somehow jammed the oil scavenger pump. The cylinder head ws repaired at Mechanics Bay by TEAL, now Air New Zealand, and the engine was done by a mechanic in Wanganui who owned a "C" Type Jaguar at the time.
When I brought the car home it was beginning to sound very noisy in the top end so I took the rocker cover off and discovered that it was severly lacking in oil.
It was discovered the the "D" Type cam had been removed and a "C" Type cam installed in its place. The only clue to this was the original cam was hollow and drilled for the oil supply whereas the one now sitting there was solid. Nasty business.
The cam was drilled but back on the race circuit the car never quite achieved its original performance. Originally I had achieved 162 mph while driving it at the Ohakea Air Force race cuircuit. By this time it was too late for bickering so unfortunately the cam is still in there.
Hopefully now that it has been brought to attention, an original may be found to replace it.

Regards from NZ - Brian
p.s. I have photos of the damaged car sitting forlornly on the retrieval vehicle at Teratonga, Invercargill.